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Una Caroline Falkiner (1881–1948)

One of the best known personalities in the Riverina, and a member of one of Australia's pioneer families by marriage, died at her home after a long illness, Mrs. Una Caroline Falkiner, wife of Mr. Otway Rothwell Falkiner, Boonoke North, Urana.

The late Mrs. Falkiner was a member of a pioneer family herself as her forbears came to Australia in 1836, Charles Henry Bouillard Le Souef arrived in Sydney in 1836 to be followed by his father, William Le Souef, from England, in 1838, and by another son, Dudley Charles Le Soeuf in the "Eagle" on October 20, 1840, and all took up land.

Mrs. Falkiner was born in Melbourne, the youngest of nine children of the late Mr. and Mrs. Albert Alexander Cochrane Le Soeuf who  lived in Royal Park.

During her early life she showed a distinct talent for sketching and painting and studied at the Art Gallery.

After her marriage in 1910 to Otway Rothwell Falkiner, third son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Frank Sadler Falkiner, Boonoke, Conargo, she still retained her interest in art, music and painting generally, many of her exquisite etchings and paintings being used to illustrate several books for children and for the Red Cross Society during the recent World War. At the time of her death she had two books, in which she was the illustrator, awaiting publication.

Upon her marriage she went to live at Boonoke, Conargo, and in 1915 she and her husband shifted to live at Boonoke North where they resided until her death.

Her charitable interests were legion and her motto seemed to be doing good without publicity for it was only on rare occasions that some of her charitable deeds became known to the public. She also took a great interest in the welfare of country women, and when the C.W.A. was formed she promoted its interests among the districts in the Riverina, being president of the local Urana branch for 16 years, only resigning her presidency about a month to six weeks before her death, because of illness. She was then made patron of the branch she had supported for so many years. In 1932 Mrs. Falkiner travelled to Deniliquin, as N.S.W. State vice-president of the C.W.A., to address the inaugural meeting called to form a branch here. The C.W.A. records state that she travelled a long distance over bad roads to be present, and explained the aims and objects of the C.W.A. and referred to the mountain and seaside homes, also the various rest rooms already established for the benefit of country women and children.

She had travelled extensively in England and in Europe on trips abroad in 1929 and again in 1937, and during which she was presented at Court.

Among her interests was included membership of the Empire League, the Forum Club and Victoria League and the Alexandra Club, Melbourne.

With her passing there will be severed yet another of the fast disappearing links with an era of the past noted for its graciousness and leisured living. Mrs Falkiner was known far and wide for her gracious manner and kindliness of nature.

She is survived by her husband and one daughter, Lawre (Mrs. Bruce Steer, Boonoke North, Urana), one son, John Alexander, was killed in an aircraft accident in England during World War II, also one stepdaughter, Emily (Mrs. Benson, Quirindi), Charles Leslie and Otway McLaurin Falkiner of Boonoke, Conargo.

The funeral took place at the Melbourne General Cemetery, Carlton.

'Pastoral Times.'

Original publication

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Citation details

'Falkiner, Una Caroline (1881–1948)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 18 June 2024.

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